The kerfuffle about Jupiter Research and their corporate blogging report (see the gory details here and here) has reached one conclusion with Fard Johnmar’s post yesterday in which he reports on the result of his telephone discussion with the Jupiter analyst concerned.
Fard’s post makes very good reading, especially his four-point conclusions on what he learned overall:
- Clarity is king
- Bloggers can make a difference
- Bloggers are not journalists, but should act responsibly
- PR goes way beyond distributinga press release
I agree with Fard’s sensible analysis of this story.
I’d add, though, that the kerfuffle (almost a farce) was entirely avoidable if Jupiter Research had been more forthcoming at the outset. In particular, the misunderstanding Fard speaks of:
[…] Clearly, we all got it wrong. JupiterKagan is not implying that 70 percent of large corporations will deploy customer-facing blogs in 2006. Rather, JupiterKagan is saying that 70 percent of IT Managers with decision-making authority on Web site budgets in companies with $50 million or more in revenue either have or plan to deploy blog authoring technology in 2006. JupiterKagan is saying nothing about how companies will use these new tools.
That actually makes me a bit annoyed. Not with Fard, let me hasten to say, but with Jupiter and their PR agency. If they had been clearer in their press release, no misunderstanding on what they meant to say would have occurred. Ditto if they had responded constructively and positively to Fard’s requests for clarification about the research as well as those from Toby Bloomberg, who kicked off this little blogosphere drama.
Clarity is king indeed.
Thanks again for your close attention to this issue. We’ll see if JupiterKagan truly changes its policies and procedures. I guess it’s a waiting game at this point.
Neville, I feel the same way about most statistical reports regarding business blogging. They tend to lump blogs together in ways that reduce the quality of the results. So, they may say that 6 percent of Fortune 500 companies are blogging, when what that may mean is that according to one wiki, 29 of those 500 companies have public-facing official blogs that deal mainly with their products, services or progress. Also, some of those 29 companies have multiple official public-facing corporate blogs, while some have only one. Then again, some Fortune 500 companies use internal blogs instead of or in addition to external blogs. Then again, the Fortune 500 isn’t necessarily representative of the world as a whole. Then again … ad nauseum.
All to illustrate your point. We – those who report on business topics – need laser-sharp focus and hi-def clarity in our thinking and writing. And with blogs enabling the wildfire-fast spread of ideas, we need to make sure our own posts are as accurate as possible.
Easton, it’s a bit garbage in/garbage out, isn’t it? :)
Fard, I’m sure quite a few people will be looking at the next announcement from Jupiter Research with the laser-sharp focus Easton mentions. Perhaps with a salt shaker to hand as well.